Last season, the closing split form saw Rangers’ potential effectively realised. Four wins and an irrelevant loss showed just what Steven Gerrard’s side was capable of, and over the past month we’ve started to see something akin to that again.
However, one constant has been a major reason as to why this form is maintaining itself, and one staggering fact about that constant really does more than raise an eyebrow.
Rangers’ midfield has effectively been four, perhaps five players this whole season. Steven Davis, Glen Kamara, Ryan Jack, Scott Arfield and a sprinkling of Joe Aribo.
Davis and Jack have especially been utterly outstanding, while Arfield has been mostly good if apparently weary, before looking a bit more like himself lately. Kamara has had a slow start to the season but is looking a little better too in recent matches, while Aribo has shown flashes of his quality without quite getting fully going yet.
But what is it which stands out about what is arguably Scotland’s best midfield? It cost £0.
Arfield was a free transfer, Davis was a loan then free transfer, and Jack was, you guessed it, a free transfer.
Only Glen Kamara (£65K) and Joe Aribo (£250,000) cost anything at all, and those prices are below peanuts.
And yet for that money, look what we have:
- Canada’s captain and an EPL veteran.
- NI’s captain and a PL and UCL/European veteran.
- Scotland international with a League Cup to his name and possibly the league’s most in-form player these days.
- Finland international with rising stock in the game.
- Nigeria international who just scored his first goal in his first start for his country.
It’s not bad for £315,000 is it?
Whether you look at Arfield, Davis and Jack and think of it as the best free midfield in British football, or add Aribo and Kamara and consider it the cheapest midfield of that kind of quality British football may ever have known, it’s still a genuinely stunning use of resources and scouting.